It’s Time! Raise Newstart! Lobbying Councils

The AUWU has joined with other anti-poverty groups to lobby councils to publicly advocate increasing Newstart to the Newstart Henderson Poverty Line.

Many of our members have already successfully lobbied their local council. Here’s how:

  1. Find and contact a local councillor you believe would be sympathetic to raising Newstart
  2. Edit and send them the AUWU’s draft motion, accompanied by these facts backing up your case for an increase to Newstart. Ask the councillor to put the motion up at the next council meeting.
  3. Set up a stall in your local area and ask people to sign a petition asking the council to pass the motion (see here for the AUWUs draft petition). Ask supporters to attend the council meeting where the motion will be discussed.
  4. Finally, our goal is that every council in Australia adopt this motion. Sign and share this petition asking that the Australian Local Government Association, which represents all councils, adopt this position.

19 councils, representing 1.5 million people are already on board. Let’s make it 100 councils! We continue to need individual councils to support a raise, even though the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has resolved to support a raise.

Get together with your local AUWU branch and use the above process.

Please contact the AUWU if you would like further support in this campaign.

Our Successes

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) carried a motion for an immediate increase to Newstart at their national conference on Tuesday 19 June 2018. The wording of this resolution is important, because it refers to the the Henderson Poverty Line. This level of payments would see Newstart raised by about $175 per week, rather than the $75 proposed by many organisations. Unfortunately the motion did not reference Youth Allowance and related payments, as worded below:

“In light of the burden placed on local governments across Australia to respond to the needs and challenges of people living in poverty and homeless, that the National General Assembly calls on Federal Government to raise the Newstart Allowance to the level of the Henderson Poverty Line to increase the wellbeing and life chances of many in our community.”

Local councils which have passed motions to raise the rate of Newstart are:

New South Wales
  • Logan
South Australia
  • Adelaide
  • Clare and Gilbert Valley
  • Copper Coast
  • Elliston
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Mount Gambier
  • Onkaparinga
  • Playford
  • Port Adelaide Enfield
  • Prospect
  • Salisbury
  • Streaky Bay
  • Tea Tree Gully
  • Frankston
  • Maribyrnong
  • Moreland
Western Australia
  • Fremantle